Facebook is a wonderful social media tool for staying in touch with others, whether they be friends and family or your business clients and customers. It can also be a way to network, make new friends and attract people to your business. Unfortunately, if not used properly, it can also work against you, repelling those you want to attract most.
The majority of users on Facebook, whether they have a business to promote or not, also use the website for personal reasons. The business owners who believe they can speak one way when they are writing about personal matters and another way when they are communicating about their business are making a grave mistake.
There is no separation in the reader’s mind. If the reader is attracted to you personally, then, and only then, may they possibly want to know more about your business. On the other hand, if they are annoyed with how you present yourself on Facebook, they will have little to no interest in knowing anything about your business.
It is possible to keep these two identities – your personal life and your business life – separate on Facebook. You can use your personal page for friends and family and keep it private from everyone else, and then you can create a page for your business and use that to interact with customers and clients. Just be sure that you are representing yourself in a positive light, as you are also representing your business.
As a general rule, most people would prefer to talk about themselves rather than to listen to other people talk. This is also true with the vast majority of the people using Facebook. While they may want to know what’s going on with their friends in general terms, they want everyone to know to the nth degree what is going on in their world.
This is why I found it necessary to write the ways to avoid annoying and/or alienating your friends and potential customers on Facebook.
12 Things to Avoid on Facebook
I’m aware that many Facebook users have a small group of homogeneous friends that think as they do and therefore some of the Facebook “don’ts” may not apply to them. I also know that some people don’t really care what other people think of them. But those of you who are concerned about how you’re perceived and your image should pay close attention to these tips.
#1 Don’t post anything that you wouldn’t someone else to read.
This includes your parents, children, boss, future employer, and significant other. Even with all of the privacy mechanisms that Facebook has put in, the word can get out.
#2 Don’t rave about your political views.
Even if most of your friends agree with you, they may not be as passionate as you and don’t want to get sucked into a debate. Some, of course, may completely disagree with your opinion and get upset with your comments.
#3 Don’t continually post comments about religion.
Similar to politics, it is an easy way to start an argument. You are not going to convert anyone to your religion on Facebook, so don’t alienate others with a different point of view.
#4 Don’t rant about any personal issues.
Some might get you in trouble but the real fact is nobody really cares about how you spent your entire day.
#5 Don’t post trivial status updates.
This includes things such as what you had to eat, running errands or working out. Unless there is an extraordinary aspect involved, nobody is interested. Don’t be fooled just because someone clicks “Like;” the fact is that most people really don’t care about these things.
#6 Don’t post any statuses seeking sympathy.
No one really enjoys being around complainers. Comments such as “Why did this happen to me?,” “I give up,” or “No body understands me?” just make you look weak and can often make matters worse. If there is a serious issue, it should be dealt with in private, not on a public forum.
#7 Don’t use inappropriate language.
This is particularly important if you are trying to communicate with multiple generations. While your friends may think it’s amusing, your relatives or co-workers may not.
#8 Don’t post offensive or explicit content.
Facebook removes pornographic images, but some inappropriate ones do get through. Many people find this type of content to be offensive.
#9 Don’t criticize or condemn.
This often leads to online arguments. This applies to both people you know personally and celebrities.
#10 Don’t over-post.
People will get turned off if they open Facebook and find several redundant posts by the same individual. It’s like the person who never knows when to shut up. You may find people un-friending you for this.
#11 Don’t post too many photos.
Especially if they are not in focus or are too dark. Remember that, while your friends may want to see pictures of your family now and then, they don’t need to see new pictures everyday.
#12 Don’t become the quote master.
It is not your job to save the world on Facebook. There are many places to go for quotes for those who really want to read them. (I say this as a firm supporter of the impact that positive quotes can make on ones attitude and development, which is why we have a section dedicated to them.)
I hope that you have found this to be helpful, and if you have any additional Facbook Don’ts that you think we should, please leave a comment below.